Based on a short story by crime novelist Dennis Lahane, this new drama feels like a short story and never takes on the heft of a full fledged film. It's a gritty story with a good twist that builds plenty of tension but the final payoff fizzles rather than explodes.
The film stars James Gandolfini, in his last film, as Marv and Tom Hardy as his cousin Bob. Marv runs a bar he once owned that has been taken over by Chechin criminals. Bob is his bartender. The bar is sometimes used as a "drop" for dirty money and a robbery sets the plot in motion. Noomi Rapace is Nadia, a woman Bob meets when he rescues a puppy that has been tossed into a garbage can. John Ortiz co-stars as the detective looking into the robbery.
Mr. Gandolfini returns to the type of crime character he plays so well but Marv is no "Tony Soprano". He's a has been hoping for one more shot but of course, things get complicated. Even though the character is washed up, Mr. Gandolfini is still a commanding screen presence. Mr. Hardy struggles with his Brooklyn accent but does a good job as Bob, a man smarter than he appears, doing a slow burn for the majority of the film.
The film was held to be released in September when the "serious" fall films begin to appear. It's the first of many to come in award season but don't expect much. It's probably worth your time as a rental or pay per view if you are a fan of Mr. Gandolfini.